Lufthansa Launches Premium Shipping Option For COVID-19 Vaccine

Lufthansa Cargo has launched a new premium option for those looking to ship the COVID-19 vaccine. The German flag carrier is offering an enhanced service to those who book the service, including priority shipping and personalized monitoring of shipments.

Lufthansa Cargo, COVID-19 Vaccine, Transport
Lufthansa Cargo has launched a new COVID-19 vaccine transport product. Photo: Lufthansa Cargo

As a result of the grounding of passenger aircraft worldwide, the global cargo capacity experienced a dip. This was as cargo could not be carried in passenger planes’ bellies if they weren’t flying. With a few aircraft grounded, the impact is mild. However, with a significant portion of the global fleet started, it had a strong impact. Now, airlines worldwide are racing to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine while maintaining the capacity for other cargos.

A new Lufthansa Cargo product

Lufthansa has revealed that it is launching a new product for cargo customers. From January 11th, the airline will offer COVID-19 Temp Premium, a product tailored to shipping the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the German flag carrier, customers purchasing the product will benefit from high priority capacity access, a comprehensive security concept, and access to the entire Lufthansa network. The airline offers three different temperature ranges for shipping vaccines. Controlled room temperature is suitable for shipments requiring +15°C to +25°C, and cool storage is ideal for +2°C to +8°C.

Lufthansa Cargo, COVID-19 Vaccine, Transport
The airline will use its freighters and belly cargo space from passenger aircraft if necessary. Photo: Lufthansa Cargo

Meanwhile, deep-frozen is suitable for shipments requiring -10°C or below. This is achieved by using a combination of refrigerated containers and dry ice. Simple Flying recently revealed that Boeing had increased its aircraft’s dry ice capacity thanks to improvements from Pfizer.

Commenting on the new offering, Peter Gerber, CEO of Lufthansa Cargo, said the following in a press release seen by Simple Flying,

“We were one of the first airlines to specialize in the transport of medical goods and pharmaceuticals and can therefore draw on many years of experience. Thanks to the recent expansion of our ground infrastructure, we can also handle larger volumes and transport them worldwide while supporting our customers to maintain the cold chain.”

How does Lufthansa transport the vaccine?

Lufthansa intends to transport the COVID-19 vaccine with its fleet of 18 cargo aircraft. However, the airline also can remain flexible with the belly capacity of its passenger aircraft.

Lufthansa Cargo, COVID-19 Vaccine, Transport
Lufthansa Cargo has a special pharmaceutical handling facility at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Oliver Roesler via Lufthansa Cargo

The airline revealed that its exact plans for transporting the vaccine would depend on where the vaccine is being manufactured and where it is needed. The airline’s primary hub, Frankfurt Airport, has a dedicated facility for handling temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical goods.

Frankfurt Airport has 20 temperature-controlled transporters, meaning that critical temperatures can be maintained on the airside journey as well. It already has 12,000 square meters of temperature-controlled handling capacity available with direct apron access. You can read more about Frankfurt Airport’s preparations to handle the vaccine on the ground here.

Do you think customers will find Lufthansa’s new offering useful? Let us know what you think and why in the comments.